At the Ref Desk (8/2/14): Apparently my 'reference interview' with a student was so long that he had to run off to the bathroom for a moment. Waiting for his return... [more...]
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Gadgets

3 Generations of Smart Phones

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 9/9/12 (7:53pm)

Cingular 8525 (2006), HTC Fuze (2008), Samsung Galaxy SIII (2012).

The Real Gadget Revolution: Web on the Go

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 3/26/09 (9:12pm)

I find it amusing that there's so much buzz (some of it manufactured?) about the Amazon Kindle. The real revolution is all around us (which is what you'd expect for a revolution): it's people using smart-phones or netbooks to text each other, send email and photos, and otherwise access the Internet.

Now we have a report by the Pew Research Center which reflects pretty much what anyone taking a train or bus home can observe every day:

Institution: 

eBook Killer, Thy Name is NetBook

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 12/7/08 (10:40am)

So remind me again, who's going to pick the utterly drab and uni-functional Amazon Kindle for $359 when they can get this baby for the same price?

Courtesy of MiniNote User.

UPDATE (1/5/09): Not to make this sound like the GadgetBlog but HP just came out with an update to its top of the line model, the HP Mini 2140. Faster chip, bigger lcd panel -- Hoo Baby!

Institution: 

eBooks are from the Department of Bad Ideas

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 12/10/06 (12:36pm)

Sony eBook Reader Someone asked about eBooks on one of the library lists I'm on. They wanted to know what the prospects were. I responded on the list but I thought I'd share my opinion here as well.

I've never really understood the rationale behind these devices. I mean, I already have something that reads "electronic books" -- it's called a laptop. If I wanted something even more mobile, I'd get a smaller laptop -- or maybe use my PDA. The advantages of using my laptop -- besides the fact that I already own it -- is that I can play most formats on it, and not just one.

Hallmark of Failed Techonogy: Sony Memory Stick Walkman (NW-MS7)Furthermore, my laptop can do more than just "read" the thing -- I can cut out parts, re-use it, send it to friends and colleagues. I can link to the file, 'digg it', list it on del.icio.us. In other words, I can do everything I've become accustomed to do on a computer in a networked environment. Why would I want something that could do anything less?

I think if the sole purpose of a device is simply to serve as a platform for a proprietary format, it's doomed. This kind of "lock-in" is not popular with consumers. Just ask Sony how its own version of the iPod is doing.

Institution: